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SONAR stands for Sound Navigation and Ranging. It is a device used to find the depth of seas, to measure the distance, direction and speed of underwater objects. It consists of a transmitter and receiver both mounted on the ship.

The transmitter produces ultrasonic waves which travel through water, strike the object on the sea bed and get reflected to the detector or receiver. Knowing the speed of sound in water and the time taken for the sound to be received, the depth can be calculated.

The total distance 2d = v x t where v is the speed of sound in sea water and t is the time taken for the wave to travel to and fro. This method is called echo ranging.

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